LIFE IN THE ARTS

LONGTIMERS PRODUCTIONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH

THE MONTEREY COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION

PRESENTS

FINDING A SUBJECT IN A WIDE ANGLE LANDSCAPE VIEW

With JOE NORDMANN, THE PLEIN AIR PAINTER

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 1999 10:30 - 11:30 AM

THIS PROGRAM IS BEING PARTIALLY FUNDED BY THE CULTURAL COUNCIL FOR MONTEREY COUNTY

 

PROGRAM GUEST

JOE NORDMANN, IS FROM VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA WHERE HE WAS A PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND CO-OWNER OF A LABORATORY DOING ENVIRONMENT WORK. HE IS AN AUTHOR OF COLLEGE CHEMISTRY TEXTBOOKS AND ARTICLES ON ART. AMONG HONORS ACCORDED HIM IS THE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN COLLEGE CHEMISTRY TEACHING.

 

HE BEGAN OIL PAINTING IN AN IMPRESSIONISTIC MANNER MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO WITH PAUL CONNER, ONE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S PLEIN AIR PAINTERS. LATER HE STUDIED WITH NICOLAI FECHIN, EDWARD NORTON WARD, CHARLES MOVALLI AND VAN WALDREN.

 

NORDMANN HAS TAUGHT PAINTING AT THE SALINAS ADULT SCHOOL. HE HAS ALSO CONDUCTED OUTDOOR PAINTING WORKSHOPS AND DONE MANY PAINTING DEMONSTRATIONS FOR ART GROUPS. HE IS A MEMBER OF THE CARMEL ART ASSOCIATION. HIS WORK CAN BE SEEN THERE AND ALSO IN CARMEL CARMEL AT THE S.R. BRENNEN GALLERY.

 

 


FOCUS QUESTIONS

 

1. CAN A SCENE IN NATURE CONTAIN MORE THAN ONE SUBJECT FOR SKETCHING AND PAINTING? IF SO, IS THERE A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF SUBJECTS?

 

2. HOW DOES A VIEW FINDER HELP ONE TO LOCATE SUBJECT MATTER IN NATURE? DOES THE VIEW FINDER HAVE A FIXED SIZE OR SHAPE?

 

3. HOW DO YOU KNOW AT WHAT DISTANCE TO HOLD THE VIEW FINDER FROM YOUR EYE? AS YOU CHANGE THIS DISTANCE, HOW DOES YOUR FIELD OF VIEW CHANGE?

 

4. WHEN SHOULD YOU USE A VIEW FINDER AS : (A) A HORIZONTAL RECTANGLE? (B) A VERTICAL RECTANGLE? (C) A SQUARE?

 

5. WHEN USING A VIEW FINDER, DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE A DRAWING OF A CERTAIN SIZE? WHAT IS A GOOD SIZE FOR A SKETCHBOOKS DRAWING?

 

6. DO YOU HAVE TO COPY EXACTLY WHAT YOU SEE THROUGH THE VIEW FINDER? IF NOT, ARE YOU LIMITED TO THE CHANGES THAT YOU MAKE IN THE SCENE?


STUDENT PROJECT

 

OBJECTIVE:

ARTISTS CAN USE A SIMPLE VIEW FINDER TO SELECT SUBJECTS FROM NATURE THAT ARE SUITABLE FOR SKETCHING AND PAINTING.

 

MATERIAL LISTS:

(1) Two L-shaped pieces of cardboard, colored medium gray. Approximate dimensions are shown in the diagram, in inches. 6" x 7" L

(2) Two large paper clips.

(3) Any sketching materials the teacher and students want to use. These can include pencils, pens, colored markers, crayons, poster prints, watercolors, etc., and any paper.

(4) Three or four photos taken from newspapers, magazines, picture albums, etc. Each will show a scene in nature. Each will also contain a variety of shapes and be a wide angle view. Examples: (a) a harbor full of boats and wharfside buildings; (b) a park with paths, trees, flower plots, people etc.; (c) farm land with fields, buildings, trees, fences, etc.; (d) a panorama with mountains, valleys, trees, clouds, etc.

The larger the picture, the better. An excellent newspaper picture for this purpose might be 7X12 inches, for instance. The picture may be in black and white, or color.

 

PROJECT #1 FINDING A SUBJECT IN A WIDE ANGLE LANDSCAPE VIEW

ADJUST YOUR VIEW FINDER TO A HORIZONTAL RECTANGLE ABOUT 1 1/2 X 2 INCHES. LOOK THROUGH THIS OPENING AT ONE OF THE PHOTOS YOU BROUGHT TO CLASS. (YOU MAY NEED TO CLOSE ONE EYE TO DO THIS EFFECTIVELY.) HOLD THE VIEW FINDER AT A COMFORTABLE DISTANCE FROM YOUR EYE SO THAT IT ISOLATES A SMALL AREA OF THE PHOTO. MOVE THE VIEW FINDER AROUND UNTIL YOU NOTICE SOMETHING INTERESTING TO DRAW.

DRAW THIS SUBJECT, LOOKING BACK AND FORTH FROM THE VIEW FINDER IMAGE TO YOUR SKETCH. MAKE THE SKETCH ABOUT 3 X4 INCHES. FIND ANOTHER SUBJECT AND SKETCH IT IN THE SAME WAY.

 

PROJECT #2 CHANGING THE FORMAT OF THE VIEW FINDER

 

TURN THE VIEW FINDER (AS USED IN PROJECT) AT 90 DEGREES TO MAKE A VERTICAL RECTANGLE USING THIS, SEARCH YOUR PHOTO FOR A SUBJECT SUITABLE FOR A VERTICAL FORMAT. SKETCH IT AS BEFORE.

 

FIND ANOTHER VERTICAL FORMAT SUBJECT AND SKETCH THAT. ADJUST YOUR VIEW FINDER TO GIVE A SQUARE OPENING ABOUT 1 1/2 X 1 1/2 INCHES. AS BEFORE, FIND TWO SUBJECTS THAT SEEM TO FIT THIS FORMAT. SKETCH THOSE.

 

PROJECT #3 ADDING COLOR TO THE SKETCHES

 

USING COLORED MARKERS, PENCILS OR WATERCOLORS, COLOR THE SKETCHES YOU LIKE BEST. ENCLOSE THEM IN SETS OF DOUBLE LINES SO THEY LOOK LIKE PICTURES IN A FRAME.

SUGGESTED READING LIST

BOOKS:

CARLSON'S GUIDE TO LANDSCAPE PAINTING By John Carlson

HAWTHORNE ON PAINTING By Charles Hawthorne

THE ART SPIRIT By Robert Henri

THE SKETCH IN COLOR By Robert Oliver

COMPOSITION OF OUTDOOR PAINTING By Edgar Payne

GO TO YOUR LIBRARY AND LOOK FOR ANY BOOKS ON OUTDOOR DRAWING, SKETCHING AND PAINTING

CAREER CORNER

ARTIST

ILLUSTRATOR

CARTOONIST

DESIGNER

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